As a travel nurse, you spend most of your time caring for others, leaving little time for managing your personal finances or long-term financial fitness. And, let’s face it, it can be complicated. While financial management can be challenging for many, it doesn’t need to be! We’ve compiled three finance tips to help travel nurses' budget and plan for your future, even while on the road.
Tip One: Build Up Your Savings.
Having a savings “nest egg” is vital for travel nurses at any age, both for long-term financial security and for any unforeseen emergencies that may pop up. Start by using an automatic system to deposit a portion of your paycheck directly into a savings account. When you automatically set aside savings from your paycheck, you can alleviate the stress and temptation that comes with relying solely on discipline.
Many financial advisors recommend a minimum of 5-10% of your paycheck, so this is an excellent place to start. As you adjust to the deductions, you may find you can increase that percentage to build savings even quicker. If you find you’re overwhelmed by the process, meet with your local bank to help set it up for you. Some banking institutions even offer bonuses if you regularly deposit in your savings account past a specific amount.
Just remember, by establishing automatic deductions into a savings account, you can build your long-term wealth and gain peace of mind knowing that the money in your checking account is available for spending.
Tip Two: Establish Financial Goals.
Financial goals can differ depending on your unique situation or desires. For example, you may be nearing retirement and need to save a certain amount in order to prepare. Or, for some travel nurses, the idea of saving for long-term retirement isn’t as motivating to put money aside. You may be more excited about saving for a vacation, car, or purchasing your first home.
In any scenario, it is important to identify the amount you want to save, and by when. You might want to consider working with a financial advisor to help you establish financial goals and plan accordingly. Once you experience meeting a savings goal, chances are you’ll find it easier to begin thinking about longer-term planning.
As you’re thinking about your financial goals, don't forget to explore 401(k) options for longer-term planning. Leading travel nurse companies offer 401(k) programs, so check with your recruiter. Taking part in these can be a great investment in your future. To learn more about Cross Country Nurses' 401(k) program, click here.
Tip Three: Track Your Finances.
While it may seem like a basic step, it is vital to track what you’re earning versus what you are spending. You may be surprised to uncover you’re spending beyond your means, which could contribute to higher credit card debt. While using credit cards can be useful when purchasing big-ticket items, spending money you don’t have can be dangerous to your long-term financial health. If you’re not able to pay the minimum balance each month, your credit score can be affected. Likewise, if you’re not paying the entire balance each month, you may be hit with large interest fees, which can add up quickly.
The key is to assess your income and build a realistic monthly budget to ensure you don’t spend beyond your means. Try using apps such as Mint and PocketGuard to make it easier to budget and avoid overspending. Tracking all your expenses is essential for budgeting purposes, but also to prepare for tax time. Take down all your mileage, gas, and other transportation costs as well as meals and living expenses.
Financial Fitness is Achievable.
Travel nurses are among the hardest working people in the country, so why not let your money work for you? Whether you want to reduce your day-to-day spending or build up your long-term financial stability, being financially fit will get you more of the things you desire with less stress and worry.
Please note: We are not licensed financial advisors, and the advice above is for informational purposes only. We suggest you consult a professional before making any decisions about your financial or retirement planning.